Seven of the Best Inns in America

The evolution of the Inn is possibly one for the science books. What was formally a concept that conjured up old-lady lace and tacky wallpaper has morphed in to a different one all together. In the last decade, it seems that the “Inn” has undergone a facelift (like so many these days). All over the USA, modern, stylish and luxurious Inns are popping up in the quaintest of places. A traveler can have all of the comfort of a high-class hotel while avoiding the inevitable pitfalls that can accompany them.

With an increased emphasis on culinary excellence and charming accommodations all within the unique setting of a private home, these seven Inns are giving us travelers a reason to get in with the “Inn” crowd.

1 – Bass Cottage Inn – Bar Harbor, Maine


Set amidst the tiny oceanfront town of Bar Harbor, Bass Cottage Inn is a great example of the new breed of Inn design. Ensconced in a beautiful Cape Cod-style home in the center of town, what sets this Inn apart are its common areas, which are expansive, warm and welcoming. Every room is unique, yet all contain luxury amenities like fireplaces, robes and soaking tubs. Every detail of this charming Inn is meticulously laid out and the guest will want for nothing during their stay.

Need some local tips while you are there? The Innkeepers are on hand daily to add a personal touch and ensure that each and every guest has the best possible experience. Like many things in Bar Harbor, Bass Cottage is only open from mid May through the end of October, so bear that in mind when you book.

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2 – Milliken Creek Inn – Napa Valley, CA


Milliken Creek is an exceptional Inn tucked away in the vine-covered sprawl of the Napa Valley. There are so many things that make Milliken Creek unique but many of its standout charms include nightly turn down service complete with romantic candle-lit touches, a stellar breakfast every morning delivered to the guest in any part of the hotel they choose and an isolated setting on the picturesque Napa River.

As with Bass Cottage, Milliken Creek is really a converted old house so here again the guest gets all of the charm of the Inn with all of the modern amenities and services that come along with a five star hotel. Because the Inn only caters to about twenty guests, you can rest assured that you will receive the attention you deserve.

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3 – Blackberry Farm – Walland, Tennessee


Private homes, cottages and organic gardens define this spectacular Tennessee Inn set on 4200 acres in the Smoky Mountains. Of all the Inns in this article, Blackberry Farm has existed the longest and surely must be a template for many of the newer places. Food is the centerpiece of this Inn, and there are two magnificent restaurants on site, which draw many of their ingredients from right there on Blackberry Farm.

With such an emphasis on culinary exceptionalism, it is no wonder that Blackberry Farm is a member of the prestigious Relais and Chateaux collection. While certainly not cheap, Blackberry Farm is sure to dazzle anyone who dares throw down the cash!

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4 – Stonover Farm – Lenox, MA


Situated on ten acres of land in the heart of The Berkshires, this century old farmhouse is a beautiful representation of the Inn’s evolution. Conceived a few years back by Tom Werman (a former record producer) and his wife Suky after years of traveling to Inns around the US, they designed Stonover Farm to include all the charm of the Inn without sacrificing any of the comforts they felt were lacking from many they had seen along the way (Amen!).

The resulting Inn includes three stylish guest rooms, a precious little schoolhouse and a private detached cottage all decked out with flat screen televisions, plush linens, deep soaking tubs and cozy fireplaces. Some of the Inns personal touches include a music selection for each room (no surprise there), home-cooked breakfast and an art gallery on-site.

5 – Soniat House – New Orleans, LA


Soniat House really captures the essence of New Orleans. Consisting of three former townhouses in the gorgeous French Quarter, checking into the Soniat House is a bit like stepping back in time (albeit a very wealthy, comfortable time). Antiques from the owner’s personal collection account for the majority of the décor, and each of the rooms has its own distinct style. Sprawling courtyards and spiral staircases signal your entrance into Soniat House and, as a guest, you will truly feel integrated into the distinctive elegance that only exists in New Orleans.

Despite its historical setting and theme, Soniat House provides all the modern amenities the luxury traveler would want. Egyptian cotton linens, gourmet breakfasts and exceptional service are hallmarks of Soniat House.

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6 – Mill House Inn – East Hampton, NY

If ocean-side, dog friendly luxury is what you are searching for, look no further. Mill House Inn is your next destination. Located in the tranquil serenity of East Hampton, NY, Mill House Inn has been a fixture in the community for over 200 years prior to its transformation to an inn. Decorated in muted tones and crisp whites, the Mill House Inn provides a subtle luxury that is a welcome change to the hustle and bustle of nearby Manhattan. The innkeeper’s describe Mill House Inn as “beach-chic” and that couldn’t really be more apt.

On top of already being perfectly fabulous, the Innkeepers are constantly renovating the rooms and the results are spectacular.  If money permits in this ailing economy, make sure to book into one of the more recently upgraded rooms that include steam showers; it’s one of the best features any great hotel can incorporate. After steaming away your stress, grab the dog and hit the beach–it is literally steps away.

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7 – Old Monterey Inn – Monterey, CA

Old Monterey Inn has consistently impressed people with its distinct charms and impeccable service. Each of its ten rooms within the Tudor style mansion is meticulously designed and stocked with luxury amenities. Some rooms include hydrothermal tubs and private decks.  Besides the incredible service, there is a spa on-site – a rare thing for an Inn and a detail that sets Old Monterey Inn apart.

It’s no wonder Old Monterey Inn ended up on Travel+ Leisure’s prestigious Gold List. With an unbeatable location in the picturesque central coast of California, there is really never a bad time of year to pay them a visit.

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Photo credits:Bass Cottage Inn, Milliken Creek Inn, Blackberry Farm,Stonover Farm, Soniat House , Mill House Inn, Old Monterey Inn

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Older comments on Seven of the Best Inns in America

Jeff Anderholm
23 August 2009

Nice write up about our inn, The Bass Cottage Inn in Bar Harbor. One point of clarification: we are actually open mid-May through the end of October…not just the summer.